Charlie's Corner

May 11, 2021

HE vs. Regular Washing Machine: Which Should I Choose?

When it comes to buying a new washing machine, there are many variables that must be accounted for. Not only must you consider the intended use for the washer, but you must also think about the different technologies that are available. 

One of the primary decisions to make when shopping for a new washer is between a high-efficiency (HE) and a traditional machine. Importantly, each choice has its benefits. At Charlie’s Soap, we wanted to walk you through the pros and cons of both models and tell you how to use Charlie’s Soap in a HE washing machine. 

HE Washers & Traditional Washers  

Like everything else in modern life, technology greatly influences how we take care of things around the house. Over the last decade, HE washers have gained popularity. Yet, many people still opt to use less complicated and more affordable washing machines. 

HE washing machines are engineered specifically to conserve water, power, and detergent. HE washers also have a good deal of technology. These additions include sensors, digital screens, sophisticated settings, and heightened spin cycles. 

Traditional washers are just what they sound like. They are the regular washing machines you see in most homes. These machines don’t come with many “bells and whistles,” but they are fast, user-friendly, use agitators, and get the job done. 

Overhead Cost 

Overhead cost is the first significant consideration to make between HE washers and traditional machines. Importantly, HE washers will almost always be more expensive. 

Here are a couple of good examples of each washer style: 

In this case, the Samsung HE washer costs about $400 more than the Frigidaire traditional washer. As such, if you are on a tight budget and need to save now, the traditional model might your best option. 

Operating Expenses

HE washers can save you as much as $200 per year on water and electrical expenses. A majority of these savings have to do with water usage. To this end, HE washers use as little as 7 gallons of water per load. This is a huge difference as compared to the 20 gallons per load used by most traditional machines. 

Looking at power savings, certain HE washers use over 30% less electricity per load than normal machines. Due to water and energy savings, an HE washer will pay off the difference from a traditional machine after just 2-3 years. After that, they will start saving you money. All things considered, if you can handle the upfront cost, you might go for an HE washer to save more in the long term. 

Maintenance & Ease of Use  

Because HE washers are designed to conserve electricity and water, they are integrated with a good deal of technology. Therefore, HE washers should be considered high-performance machines that require care. 

To keep an HE washer working its best, you need to stay on top of the following tasks:

  • Keep the sensors clean, especially near the controls
  • Make sure mildew does not build up on the machine
  • Wipe the rubber seals clean
  • Periodically wash with hot water and bleach 

For the most part, traditional machines require less maintenance than HE washers. With fewer electronics and sensors to deal with, there are simply fewer things to break. Even more, traditional washers are generally quicker than HE machines. Traditional washers take 1hrs – 1.25hrs to run, while HE machines take 1.25hrs – 2hrs per load. 

A traditional machine could be a good fit if you need to get laundry done quickly and don’t want to deal with the extra responsibilities that come with HE washers. 

Is an HE Washer or Regular Machine Better for You? 

As can be seen, there are a lot of variables that go into deciding between an HE and a traditional washer. People like traditional washers because they are quick, affordable, and easy to use. Conversely, others enjoy HE washers because they save money on utility bills and are good for the environment. To make the best decision, Charlie’s Soap recommends using weighing these factors against your overall needs. 

Can I use Charlie’s Soap in an HE Washing Machine?

The answer is YES! Charlie’s Soap works perfectly in any HE washing machine and uses hypo-allergenic ingredients that contain no perfumes. Say goodbye to those artificial scents and annoying residue.

Many HE washing machines are missing agitators, which assist in rubbing clothes together to remove scents, odor, and pesky dirt from clothing. Because some HE washing machines miss this step, your laundry process may or may not need a little help.

We do have a few tips when using Charlie’s Soap in a HE washing machine if you are looking for cleaner results:

  • Since HE washing machines use lower water levels, you can set your washer to the Heavy Soil setting to ensure your clothes are soaking in as much water as possible.
  • We suggest using soft or plastic dryer balls to help with extra scrubbing and agitation.
  • If your HE washing machine struggles with low water levels, use the Bulky Cycle, or add some water in yourself by throwing in a wet towel.
  • Whenever possible, add Charlie’s Soap directly to your laundry for the cleanest results.
  • Make sure to always double rinse, and if you own a front-loading HE washing machine, leave the door open for a few hours to prevent musty odor.

Want to know more about using Charlie’s Soap in a HE washing machine? Read our blog here!